Labour announces first election policy: Keeping Super age at 65

By 1news.co.nz

Labour has announced its first election policy — to keep the Super age at 65 and over.

Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni at the 2023 Labour Party Congress. (Source: Getty)

Labour social development spokeswoman Carmel Sepuloni made the announcement today at the Labour Party Congress in Te Papa in Wellington.

She also announced that a re-elected Labour Government would continue contributions to the NZ Super Fund and the Winter Energy Payment.

In a statement, Sepuloni said Labour’s first election policy was aimed at “providing New Zealanders with certainty about their retirement income”.

“New Zealand has one of the simplest superannuation schemes in the world. It is universal and generous. And as long as we keep paying into the Super Fund it is also affordable.

“This policy ensures settings remain stable and consistent, no one misses out and Kiwis can look forward to retirement now and in the future under a Labour Government.

“Research tells us there is little appetite amongst New Zealanders for a means-testing regime or changing the age of eligibility, which is why we’re committed to keeping Super universal from age 65.”

She said National and ACT’s superannuation policies were “out of touch” and put New Zealanders’ retirement savings “at risk”.

“Those parties’ plans to lift the age of eligibility as well as cutting Government contributions to KiwiSaver will reduce New Zealanders retirement savings, and will have an especially detrimental impact on disadvantaged women, Māori and Pasifika.

“Māori and Pacific in particular have lower life-expectancy and are expected to become a larger proportion of the ‘working-age’ population over the next twenty years.

“We’re drawing a clear distinction between Labour and the Coalition of Cuts; we will not be toying with the age of eligibility, and Superannuation will remain accessible, affordable and equitable.”

She said the Winter Energy Payment provided financial security to those eligible and helped prevent respiratory illnesses, lowered hospital admissions and lowered the risk of other health issues, “caused by cold damp homes”.

“In this election New Zealanders have a clear choice when it comes to support and security in retirement.”

Sepuloni provided a document which claimed under National and ACT superannuation policies, an 18-year-old person could stand to lose up to about $155,000 in retirement savings.

ACT responds

This morning, ACT party leader David Seymour said Labour’s claim taxpayers would be worse off under ACT policies was “either financially illiterate or dishonest”, because it “ignored” tax cuts for working families.

“ACT’s tax cuts dwarf the spending cuts Labour are on about because ACT would cut government waste, leaving every earner better off.”

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